We love doing the Alaska trip, it is very easy for us coming from Vancouver Island. This trip makes the 4th time we have done this route and we will do it again, next time we will probably do a southbound run. Each time we have done something slightly different: change in port Skagway to Sitka, change in glacier, Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm/Endicott.
Embarkation took about an hour, there were only 2 ships departing on the 23rd (Westerdam and Noordam). We have experienced longer. They had more lines moving and sorted out passengers better than on previous trips. Luggage was in the cabin when we boarded.
Disembarkation was quick. Since our last trip HAL has changed the way things are done. We chose our timing to go with the pick up time for our bus back to the island. We waited in the cabin until our color was called and then headed for the gangway. We took all of our luggage with us this time. Customs took about 30 seconds as I had the form fully completed.
Cabin was quite comfortable for a 7 night journey. There was enought cupboard and drawer space for all of our clothes etc. Discovered the drawers under the bed after the 2nd day but didn't really need them. Used the underbed storage for the big suitcases and once the laundry bag was full just added the stuff to the suitcases.
Shower was a little small, we are big people so the shower curtain "attacked" us a few times.
Balcony was nice to have and we were able to get out there and enjoy it even at the end of September. Our only issue was that they decided to replace the light and do some repainting while in Ketchikan which meant we couldn't sit outside.